Credit Union Times’ March 30 voting poll asking “Why the increased banker attacks,” is interesting, but it has one glaring omission. That is: What about the bankers’, responsibility? Could it be that “what’s behind the banker attacks” is simply nothing more than the manifestation of bankers’ desires to do away with the credit union movement as we know it? It seems apparent that the source of animosity directed at credit unions by the banks does not come from real competitive pressure. The fact is, for 11 out of the last 12 years, banks have seen record profits (although I suppose one could argue that they blame credit unions for that one off year). Further, bank ROA and capital levels are at record highs. What’s the threat? My guess is that the banks’ bullheaded approach toward credit unions has nothing to do with competition. Nor does it have much to do with the various topics that your poll outlines as impetus for attacks. Certainly credit unions have the right to seek legislation that allows for more efficient, up-to-date operations and service to members. And just as certainly, the bank trade associations are serious in their intentions of stifling credit unions – they are not just trying to build their own trade association membership. Finally, what’s wrong with credit union growth (particularly if more Americans are using credit unions, or have access to credit union services)? My view is that what is at the heart of bankers’ attacks is their deep-seated resentment that the not-for-profit alternative to banks actually is preferable to consumers. Further, that preference stands in their way of having a monopoly on providing financial services to consumers. I think your readers would have benefited from at least one choice in the poll that placed the onus for this tax threat squarely where it belongs: on the bank lobby. John McKechnie SVP, Governmental Affairs CUNA Washington, D.C.

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